Washington-Stanford grades: Huskies' offensive line dominates in win
Washington Huskies 44, Stanford Cardinal 6
Here are the biggest takeaways and highest-graded players from the Washington Huskies’ 44-6 win over the Stanford Cardinal.
Quarterback grade: Jake Browning, 74.0
Browning provided ample protection
Sophomore quarterback Jake Browning had a mistake-free and efficient night against a typically stout Stanford defense. He finished the evening completing 15 of his 21 attempts along with tossing three touchdown passes. Through five games, Browning has a completion percentage of 70.7 percent and is averaging almost 10 yards per attempt at 9.6. It’ll be interested to see how opponents attack him going forward this year; the offensive line has done a great job protecting the youngster, as he was only under pressure on three of his 23 dropbacks and shredded the Cardinal for 198 yards and three touchdowns when he had time in the pocket.
Top offensive grades:
LT Trey Adams, 80.7
WR Chico McClatcher, 74.5
G Shane Brostek, 72.8
C Coleman Shelton, 72.3
WR John Ross, 72.0
Offensive line dominates in rout
The Huskies’ offensive line occupy three of the top four grades. Led by sophomore LT Trey Adams, the offensive line won basically every battle against Stanford’s front that wasn’t facing DT Solomon Thomas. They kept Browning upright all night, not allowing a sack and surrendering only one QB hit. Each lineman other than RT Kaleb McGary graded above a 75 in run-blocking. WR John Ross showed his speed and route-running abilities, getting behind the Cardinal secondary on a number of occasions and could have come away with three touchdowns had it not been for an underthrown deep ball and dropped pass in the end zone. The Huskies beat the Cardinal at their own game, controlling the time of possession and rushing the ball 40 times for 215 yards, with 164 of those coming after contact.
Top defensive grades:
OLB Joe Mathis, 79.9
CB Sidney Jones, 76.7
DT Elijah Qualls, 76.2
CB Taylor Rapp, 76.1
OLB Psalm Wooching, 75
Huskies generate eight sacks
OLB Psalm Wooching led the way with three sacks, as the Huskies were relentless all night at pressuring Stanford QB Ryan Burns. OLB Joe Mathis led the way with the top grade and a pass-rushing grade of 79. He has strung together three consecutive games with a sack, as well as totaling 10 QB hurries over that three-game span. Stanford stayed away from CB Sidney Jones, as he wasn’t targeted once. They didn’t have much success going to the other side either, as CB Kevin King allowed only two catches for 12 yards. The Huskies did a great job keeping Heisman hopeful Christian McCaffrey in check, holding him under 50 rushing yards on the game, his lowest total dating back to his freshman year.
Quarterback grade: Ryan Burns, 63.9; Keller Chryst, 58.5
Burns under fire all night
Quarterback Ryan Burns was sacked six times, never having a chance to get comfortable in the pocket. Washington didn’t even have to bring extra men as their stunts and movements had the Cardinal offensive line in shambles all night. In fact, only one sack of the six on Burns came when he was blitzed. The senior quarterback was somewhat productive while not under pressure with the majority of his completions coming from the quick game, such as screens set up for Christian McCaffrey as well as short stick routes and underneath crossing routes targeting the second level of the Huskies defense.
Top offensive grades:
WR Trenton Irwin, 69.3
HB Christian McCaffrey, 66.0
WR Michael Rector, 55.3
T Casey Tucker, 53.0
TE Dalton Schultz, 51.8
Poor grades reflect struggles of offense
As one can surmise from the grades above, it was an abysmal game for the Stanford offense. Their bread and butter — the run game — was virtually shut down, as they finished with 73 yards on 23 carries. Not finding any success on the ground (see the chart below for McCaffrey’s season rushing stats to see his struggles Friday), they tried to get McCaffrey in space by using him in the slot for quick screens to go along with the traditional backfield screens. There wasn’t much success to be found there either, as he ended the game with 30 yards on 6 catches. Most of the offensive struggles can be traced back to the offensive line, with G David Bright and T A.T Hall both having pass-protection grades of 40. Five of the team’s eight sacks surrendered came on the shoulders of those two; Hall has now given up six on the season.
Top defensive grades:
DT Solomon Thomas, 81.9
LB Noor Davis, 75.6
LB Kevin Palma, 73.9
CB Frank Buncom, 73.1
S Dallas Lloyd, 72.7
Thomas is lone bright spot
Thomas continued with his strong start to the season despite his team’s rough night. He only generated one quarterback hit and hurry, but finished with a grade of 85.1 against the run to go along with his 72.6 pass-rush grade. It’s easy to see why this sophomore is an exciting prospect, as his strength and ability to shed blockers really stuck out. The rest of the defensive unit struggled to get pressure on the opposing QB, as they didn’t record a sack and only hurried Browning twice. They couldn’t get off the field either, as the Huskies converted 9-of-12 third downs, a recipe for disaster.